New Ebola Case Continuation of WA Outbreak

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Dr. Francis Nah Kateh, CMO-Liberia.jpg

The Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. Francis Kateh, has attributed the recent Ebola outbreak in Margibi County to the continuation of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa, and not a separate introduction from a ‘reservoir’ population.
Dr. Kateh’s statement allays fears that the resurgence of the virus was a result of the victims eating “dead dog.”
The information released by Dr. Kateh at a press conference in Monrovia Friday follows an investigation conducted into the new Ebola outbreak by the Liberian Institute for Biomedical Research (LIBR), United States Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) respectively.
Dr. Kateh disclosed that the institutions completed nearly 99% coverage of genomes (an organism set of DNA) that were obtained from both the body swab and blood taken from the patient posthumously (after death).
The CMO noted that following a series of laboratory tests, both sequences proved to be identical and are consistent with the area where the recent outbreak occurred, representing a continuation of the ongoing Ebola Virus in West Africa.
According to the Liberia News Agency (LINA), Dr. Kateh indicated that the sequence matches with previous isolates from Liberia and is distinct from the viruses currently circulating in Sierra Leone and Guinea.
He added that the level of sequence difference between this case and previous isolates is significantly lower than is expected, based on the date of isolation and outbreak-wide estimates of the virus’ rate of development.
It may be recalled that on June 28, three months after the last reported Ebola victim in Liberia was buried, a 17-year-old boy, Abraham Meimeiga, died of the virus in Nendowein, a small village near Smell No Taste otherwise known as Unification Town, Margibi County.
Since then, four others associated with the case have tested positive and are undergoing treatment at the ELWA Ebola Treatment Unit in Paynesville.
Meanwhile, sequencing of the other cases associated with this flare-up of the virus is ongoing as the MOH has placed 14 people in the area at higher risk.

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